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long-term-care-insurance-elimination-periodThe Elimination Period: Calendar Days or Service Days

The Elimination period is the number of days an individual is responsible for self-funding a qualified long-term care event before benefits begin to be paid. It’s similar to a deductible but measured in days either as service days or calendar days. Calendar days are the number of consecutive days following the day the insured is eligible for benefits. Service days are the number of days an individual incurs out-of-pocket expenses. Service days do not have to be consecutive.

Case in Point:

Let’s look at the date benefits begin for two scenarios below. In both scenarios, the policy has a 90-day elimination period, the insured is eligible for benefits on January 1, and the initial treatment plan calls for care to be provided two times per week.

Type of Elimination Period Benefits Begin Benefits End
Calendar days April 1 The 90-day elimination period ends March 31.
Service days November 16 The 90-day service day elimination period ends November 15; based on receiving service two times per week, the final care during the elimination period provided November 15. 

Cost of the Benefit:

The base plan for many long-term care policies defines the elimination period in terms of service days; however, some carriers define the elimination period in calendar days. For additional premium, an optional rider can be added that defines the elimination period in calendar days, depending on the carrier.